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I noticed an occasional clunk had developed and just thought it was because it was time to change the chain and small chainring. When doing that I noticed some movement of the spindle in the BB cups. I tried tightening the left crank bolt to no avail. I took it all apart, cleaned it, and reassembled it only to find radial play - not lateral. BB cups are toast after 7 years/40,000 miles.

I thought I was going to have to buy a GXP tool to remove the cups, but it turns out I bought a BBT-9 when I got the bike. Funny how one forgets what's in their tool kit.

Anyway, here are some pix. Have any of you seen things this dirty?

Spoke Red Bicycle part Bicycle Rim Metal Household hardware Circle Brass Silver Red Carmine Composite material Steel Cylinder Red Carmine Steel Material property Spoke Red Spoke Carmine Rim Bicycle part
 

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Yes, I've seen much worse and in much less time than 7 years. It wasn't your BB cups that were toast but the bearings themselves. I get what you meant though because it's easier to replace the cup & bearing set than press out/in bearings.

I'm fond of BB shell drain holes and drill them in any of my frames that don't come with them (all Santa Cruzs come with them). Water is sure to get down there, mostly through the slot in the top of the seat tube, and a drain hole speeds up the drying/draining process. The argument against them is it can allow water in but I don't believe that's significant (it's fighting gravity) while on most frames a surprising amount of water gets in the seat tube. Basically I feel that if you ride in rain or wash your bike water is sure to get in your frame (and rim cavities) and expediting the drying process is the best cure. If I'm at a shop when washing my bike I shoot compressed air in the seat tube, chainstay holes, and rim holes to blow water out.
 
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